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Since our beginnings as a group of churches we have always valued unity.

We believe that unity is one of the core values that will impact the community who will look to see how we “love one another”

Acting With Grace
However there will be numerous times when we will be disappointed with one another and will need to give one another the grace to carry on. It is a part of what it means to “make every effort to keep the unity”. In doing so we will act with grace, we will not complain to them. We will let it go. At such times we should not gossip about it with others. And if we let it go; that means we do not commit it to memory for a later time.

Expressing A Complaint
At other times we may feel some offence. At those times we will want something done about it.
A key scriptural passage that gives us guidance in dealing with such differences is Matthew 18:15-17.

  • If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    Matthew 18 : 15 - 17

There are other scriptures that also address the resolution of differences within the church family. However this is the one on which we base this process.

Process:

When someone has a complaint against another person it is their responsibility, if they deem it to be serious enough, to go to the person who has caused offence.

a) Matter resolved:
They need to raise their concern, if the matter is settled then that should be the end of the matter. It should not be talked about with others.

b) Matter not resolved.
If the person raises the issue and it is not resolved to their satisfaction then it would be courteous and respectful to indicate to the other person that they will raise it with one of the Pastoral Team Leaders.

What the PTL member needs to know is:
(1) There is an issue that needs the involvement of the PTL. They do not need to know a lot of the detail because that may well cause a bias in their perspective prior to hearing both parties.
(2) That the person offended has sought resolution themselves, and has indicated that they are not satisfied with the outcome to the person who has caused offence, and intend to take it further.

Complaints can be of two main types:
(a) Complaint about a person – (this is different from a personal grievance, but may ‘cross over’ sometimes) -
(b) Complaint about some organisational matter –
If someone comes to a PTL member with a complaint, there will be a commitment to hear it, and to act as follows:

Serious Complaint If the complaint involves major issues which could bring major harm to the Church, they should bring the issue to the Senior Pastor and the PTL for discussion. Examples of this could be assault, sexual molestation, embezzlement of funds, significant group dissension in the Fellowship.

General Complaint If the complaint is of a more minor nature, the person complaining will be directed to the Ministry Team Leader responsible for the area of concern, or if of a more general nature to the Senior Pastor. Examples of this could be dirty premises, management of sound desk in church, morning tea arrangements.

It is important that the Ministry Team Leaders are seen first if it applies to them because they have the power to address issues in their ministry. They may wish to involve the Senior Pastor, or the PTL.

If the complaint is raised with the Pastoral Team Leaders they are committed to taking it seriously. There may be a preliminary process of hearing from both parties, however they are committed to see both parties, speaking to one another, and working through to a point of resolution.

If such a conclusion can not be reached—it may well be that after careful consideration, the Pastoral Team Leaders will give their opinion on appropriate action. However the aim of the parties meeting together with the PTL will be one of conciliation.

  • Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace

    Ephesians 4: 3

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